Archive | May, 2011

Paws 4 Thor

31 May

I was asked to help a fellow Autism Parent. I am fortunate to have Jay who is highly verbal and does not run away.  This mother is not so lucky. I can only image the anxiety that she must feel every day. Anyway she is trying to raise money to purchase a special Autism Service Dog for her son.  I ask that you please take a second to read Thor’s story and to view the video she made. Even if you are not in the position to help her financially, you can help by forwarding this video to people you know. List it on your Facebook page or Tweet your friends. Help Thor get his dog! Thanks! ~Sharon from Mama’s Turn Now

PAWS 4 THOR

Meet Thor Blocksidge.

Thor is an active, sweet, 2  and a half year old boy who lives with his Mom in Quesnel, BC (Canada)…but Thor isn’t like other typical 2 and a half  year old boys; though he loves playing outside – he hates to get dirty. He loves blowing bubbles, but doesn’t like them to get too close. His favorite is playing with cars and dinosaurs…but make sure they are in a perfect line or you’re in for a lot of tears.

On April 14th, 2011 Thor was diagnosed as having Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Extreme Anxiety; he leads a life apart from others his age.

Autism is a neurological disorder that is more and more heard of, yet still widely misunderstood. Autism affects the areas of the brain controlling language, social interaction, and creative and abstract thinking.

In addition, his brain has difficulty processing the sensory information that he perceives. Many times sights, sounds, smells, and touch can overwhelm him and even be painful. This usually leads to outbursts and a desire to flee the situation. Every moment of every day Thor fights against his natural tendencies to be afraid, anxious, or overwhelmed.

Thor’s senses are constantly inundated by the sights, smells, and sounds around him. He is only semi-verbal and does not respond to strangers or to his name being called if he were to wander or hide.

There are many issues that arise from Thor’s disabilities that make living each day difficult for Thor and his mother (a single parent). He must have his hand-held constantly or be on a toddler “leash,” because his severe anxiety causes him to run away and hide even when out in public. He also self injures – hitting, slapping, pinching himself and even banging his head on hard surfaces.

Thor is also a loving child and has an infectious laugh. His family strives every day to help him overcome the many obstacles he faces. While researching the potential ways to assist Thor, his mother became aware of the benefits an Autism Service Dog could provide and found an organization called 4 Paws For Ability in Ohio. This is a non-profit agency that places trained service dogs with children with a wide range of disabilities. An Autism Service Dog would accompany Thor and his mother everywhere, acting as a safe guard, by having Thor tethered to the dog with a special harness.

Autism service dogs are also trained to comfort during melt downs,interrupt inappropriate repetitive or self-injurious behaviors, and provide comfort and companionship. Thor has been approved to receive an Autism service dog; 4 Paws for Ability eliminates a long waiting list by allowing their clients’ family, friends, and community to raise $13,000 to help cover some of the cost of extensive training service dogs require.

In Thor’s particular case the dog would also be trained in Search and Rescue, giving his mother an extra pair of eyes and a keen sense of smell to help locate her son when he wanders and hides.

The 4 Paws for Ability website states, “We have discovered a magic that exists between children and dogs, a magic that can become a life-saving miracle for a child paired with one of our Autism Assistance Dogs.” You can help bring some magic to Thor’s life by making a tax-deductible donation to 4 Paws for Ability in Thor’s name. Every donation helps and no donation amount is too small!

 

Visit www.paws4thor.com for more information about Thor, to find out how you can donate online, and to read updates on this little boy’s journey to find a helping paw.

Donations (US Funds Cheque/Money Order)
can also be mailed to:

4 Paws for Ability, Inc.
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, OH 45385
(Please include “In Honor of Thor Blocksidge” on the memo line)

 

Black Cloud Over My Head!

30 May

It seems every time Hubby Travels more than 50 nautical miles away from the house, all hell breaks loose.  You’ve read my past posts.  In the past three months while he has been away, we’ve had a mouse in the house, the dryer breaking, the transformer for the kitchen lights blew twice, I hurt my hand and ended up in a sling, I got a speeding ticket and the kids always seem to get  sick. The poor guy is afraid to call home. He says he leaves and a giant black cloud comes out.

Hubby left on Friday and like clock work Saturday Grace got sick.  It went straight to her little asthmatic chest too. Thankfully breathing treatments are a piece of cake with her. She is an old pro.

 

But  Grace was kind enough to share her germs with her brother. Yup yesterday Jay came down with something… and I do me down. He looked green and you could tell he just felt horrible. Hell the kid didn’t want to play his DS games… that’s how sick he was. 

Of course this all happened on what was supposed to be my shopping day. Once again Old Mother Hubbard Cupboards were bare. If it was just food I needed I could have postponed shopping and ordered Chinese delivery or something until the kiddos were feeling better, but I needed to pick up Grace’s asthma medicine and get Jay something to make him feel better. (He has standardized testing starting on Tuesday… he has to get better!) So I gave Jay some Saltines to settle his stomach and stuffed his pockets with tissues and off we all went to the store. The Black Cloud followed us!

I got one of those sitting carts and squeezed Jay into it. I handed him a tissue box and told him to just hang in there. Then I did my grocery shopping in what had to be Guinness World Record Time. Perhaps I was going a little too fast because Jay started complaining that he felt like he was going to throw up. I grabbed a bottle of Gatorade off the shelf and gave it to him and told him to sip slowly. It seemed to help.

We made it to the next aisle when I heard a scream. I turned around to find Grace sitting on the floor holding her foot. I don’t know how she did it but some how the child managed to rip half  of her toe nail off her big toe. I grabbed her and squeezed her into the cart next to Jay and rushed to customer service.

But the sight of Grace’s blood was enough to put poor Jay over the edge and well… you know what happened… yup right there in customer service! Don’t worry no picture of that one!

I was able to get them both cleaned up, pay for my groceries and get them into the car without any more of a show. As I got behind the wheel, I stopped to take a breath and just calm down. I was chanting to myself, “I Love my Kids. I Love my Kids!” That is when I looked up and saw the bumper sticker on the car in front of me. It was like someone was trying to give me a message.

Message taken!

 

Wrap Up Sunday

29 May

So this weeks wrap up starts off with a post that everyone mom should read and can relate too!  1.) Motherhood Ate My Brain from the blog The Dishwasher’s Possessed. The post is all about how she handled a stressful mom moment by singing opera and insisting that if her kids were going to complain that they had to sing too. Brilliant move mom!

2.) William Kendall blogs over at Speak of the Devil and he did a great post called: No, They Can’t Keep Their Zippers UP that is all about “Arnold the former Governator” and well… his little situation. Includes a collection of very funny political cartoons including this one:

 

 

 

 

 

3.) With Father’s Day just a few weeks away this next post I read really got to me. Have a tissue ready and check out this post that was written by an Autism Dad. The post is called: A Love Story and it is from the Blog Many Hats Mommy.

4.) This next pick for the week will really make the autism readers chuckle but will also appeal to anyone who has a child who perhaps doesn’t really tell you what they are feeling. It is done like a David Letterman Top 10 list and it is called: Pass the Golden Hat and was written by Lynn over at My Life as an Ungraceful, Unhinged and Unwilling Draftee into the Autism Army. My Life as an Ungraceful, Unhinged, and Unwilling Draftee into the Autism Army

5.) My last pick of the week will definitely be something that I know MY FAMILY and many others will be able to relate to. It is called 13 Things To Do in the ER for 30 Hours and was written by Varda who blogs at The Squashed Bologna: a slice of life in the sandwich generation. (I just love that title.) And make sure to leave her a comment and wish her mom a speedy recovery!

AND THAT FOLKS IS A WRAP!

SnapShot Saturday

28 May

This week’s SnapShot Saturday is from Daniela (autiemom07) who blogs over at Autism-Natural Mom. Daniela is the mom of two beautiful amazing kids, one of them affected by autism, and in her blog she  shares everything from natural living to surviving and making the best of autism.

This picture shows Tristan stimming with some straws. ~ Daniela

Do you have a picture that you would like to share on SnapShot Saturday? Leave me a comment letting me know or send me a message via Twitter.

 

 

How do you feel about Weighted Blankets???

27 May

Okay special needs community…I need your opinions and advice. Do you use a weighted blanket with your child? Does it really help?

I had an “Ah HA” moment last night while watching Jay go through his nightly routine of piling on 4 blankets, a billion pillows,  truck loads of stuffed animals, and just about everything else but the kitchen sink. My son craves the weight. Just to confirm this I asked him.

ME: “Jay why do you put all that stuff on top of you?”

Jay: “It feels good. I like the feeling of being way under it.”

Me: “You mean you like the weight of it.?”

Jay: “Yeah that’s it mom, exactly! Wow you really do know me.”

And he smiled and went deep into his cocoon.

I feel so guilty. How can I put this kid to bed every night and never ever have figured this out?

Then I started thinking about Gracie, my so-called TYPICAL Child. She has a horrible time getting to sleep and staying asleep. In fact she sleep walks sometimes. Would a weighted blanket help her?

Not knowing much about these things I went on-line. The first thing I saw was the PRICE! Holly Guacamole Bat Man!

But… if they work and will help my children… it would be worth it. A good nights sleep is priceless in this house.

So my question to you all again is this:

Have you or do you use a weighted blanket with your child/children? Does it make a huge difference? Would you recommend it?

I look forward to your responses.

Tick Tick Tick

26 May

Tick Tick Tick… You would think a place that deals with sensory kids all day would choose to have a quieter clock in their waiting room. “How annoying this must be to everyone”, I think to myself. Oh but wait… there is no one but me sitting in the waiting room for this stupid clock to bother.

Granted this is a very small waiting room, but still I find it strange that I have just watched 4 moms drop off their children for therapy and then leave. They left! There is a reason why they call this place a waiting room people. You are supposed to wait!

Is this the new norm? Maybe I am the strange one. Perhaps they are looking at me and wondering why I am staying. “WOW… her kid must be pretty messed up if she won’t even leave.”, they could be thinking.

At the last place Jay did therapy parents were required to stay. This is how it has always been. And honestly I would look forward to talking to the other special need mothers as we waited for our kids. We got to know one another. We shared stories, advice, heartaches and successes. For an hour and a half I could let my hair down and talk and no one judged me. I guess it was therapy for me too.

TICK TICK TICK…

I cannot image not staying. What if something happened and they needed me to help calm down my boy. Or more likely what if something WONDERFUL happened and Jay just had to tell me right then and there. He would be devastated if he came out to the waiting room and I was not there. I would be too.

And so I sit here alone and write and listen …

Tick Tick Tick!

I am also being featured today on the SPD Bloggers Network. My article is called: Do Animals Have Aspergers? I posted it here awhile back. If you did not get a chance click on the link above and check it out. And while you are there read some of the other great posts too. Some amazing articles there that deal with all sorts of sensory issues.

Goddammit I am MAD! No Beyond MAD!

25 May

I know I know being angry is a useless emotion. I have heard it all…

If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?  ~Sydney J. Harris

If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot.  ~Korean Proverb

He who angers you conquers you.  ~Elizabeth Kenny

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.  ~Author Unknown

Anger is one letter short of danger.  ~Author Unknown

I also know this one:
In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.  ~Mark Twain

And so with good ole Twain in mind I will repeat … GODDAMMIT I AM MAD! Why must things be so difficult? Why can’t people return phone calls? Emails? Why must everything be such a cluster F**K! I was going to write the word but I know my mom reads this and I really don’t feel like a lecture. Oh hell… I will just type it, why must everything be such a CLUSTER FUCK! Ah.. Twain is right that felt so much better!(And mom PLEASE I beg you… spare me the lecture this one time! Thanks)

Sorry if I offended anyone. I usually don’t use language but that is how mad I am. I am tired of coming to dead ends and getting no where. I have run into wall after wall and I just don’t have the energy to try to climb over any more right now. My mind is spinning and for the first time, I am just lost as to what I should do. I know in the big picture that what has me so angry is really not that HUGE of a deal… but it matters to me. I mean it really matters. Before you can possibly understand why this whole thing matters so much, you have to really understand how I got to where I am now. So here is Mama’s story!

Before I was Mama, I was just Sharon. Sharon was pretty stupid and thought she knew everything. I gave up a partial scholarship to a very good University to attend a local Community College because I did not want to leave my boyfriend behind. I ended up marrying the jerk and dropped out of college to pretend to be a happy married person. Thank God I got smart and got rid of the looser. I then went back to my community college and got my AA. After that I packed up my bags and moved to the Big Apple to study there. But before I graduated  with my BA I realized that I had only really moved there to get away from my ex. I left school again and moved back to Florida.  Life got in the way of my education for a while. Finally after years, my current husband, encouraged me to go back to school. I enrolled at Florida International University but instead of pursuing Theater which I would have only needed a few more credits to graduate, I changed my major to Communications. Then I got pregnant! I dropped out again.

When we moved to Brazil, I thought that would be the perfect time to finally go back and finish my degree. I have always been embarrassed by not having those stupid initials. It was a reminder of every stupid decision that I ever made. So I enrolled again to FIU but this time as an online student. I once again changed my major. Partially because I needed something that offered all its courses online, and the other part because it really interested me. I became a Criminal Justice major with a focus on Justice Public Affairs/Social Work.

For two years I have juggled work, my home, kids and their schedules and classes. I have given up many things and I know my children have suffered some as well. I cannot tell you how many times I have turned them away because mommy was busy studying. Even though the guilt I felt was tremendous I also thought I was teaching them a valuable life lesson… FINISH YOUR SCHOOL BEFORE YOU START YOUR LIFE! They got it too.

This past December I should have graduated. I passed all my required course. I made the Deans Honor Roll too. My grade point average was 3.65! I was so excited to get my diploma in the mail… but it never came. I called the school and they told me not to worry that it took time to be mailed to me. January turned into February… no diploma. I called again and was told that I did not graduate because the University had no record of me ever fulfilling the two-year language requirement. I was floored. Why had no one told me this before? I told them that I was waived of that because I took 2 years of Spanish in high school. They needed proof.

I called my High School. They do not keep records that go back that far… and I am talking I graduated way back when FRANKIE SAYS t-shirts were popular! They would need to search the archives (Like that statement made me feel good), and it would take 6 weeks. That was okay because it would mean I could still graduate in Spring.

Finally… I thought after all this time. After over 20 years I would be graduating in May. Well guess what? NOPE!!!!

I feel like crying now. I have gotten so much of a run around. The university says they did not ever receive the records. The High School says they sent them. I called the Community College to see if they had a copy of my High School transcripts and they do not. It seems that Language was not required back then.

There is no Grandfather clause. The University says its hands are tied. They suggest that I just take the language classes at the university. Problem… I don’t live in Miami and they don’t offer the classes online. Also why should I have to pay for 6 more credits at $368 a credit… you do the math… when I took language before.  Also that would mean I would not graduate until next Spring! Another year of not having my initials when I have done everything I am supposed to do.

So GODDAMMIT I am MAD! This is a huge Cluster FUCK! I have made so many long distance calls. Sent so many emails. Been transferred to person after person and still no answers. I just don’t know where to turn to now.

If any of you have any suggestions… Please lay them on me. I just don’t have the energy to think any more. I feel like everything I have worked for has been a waste. When I finally do get the stupid diploma it just won’t be the same any more. How very sad!

Whew… that was a lot! Sorry about that.

And yes I know…

If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?  ~Sydney J. Harris

If you kick a stone in anger, you’ll hurt your own foot.  ~Korean Proverb

He who angers you conquers you.  ~Elizabeth Kenny

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.  ~Author Unknown

Anger is one letter short of danger.  ~Author Unknown

Apollo was my cashier at the Grocery Store!

24 May

Hubby loves to go grocery shopping! I know can you believe it? I on the other hand despise it. I can think of twenty million things I would rather do than grocery shop. Where hubby takes his time lingering down the aisles and eating all the free samples they pass out (Perhaps that has something to do with him liking it so much), I race through grabbing stuff off the shelf in such a hurried frenzy you would think I was trying to catch a bus.

I can’t send the man alone to do shopping. If I did that he would come home with everything but what I wrote on his list, and then I would need to go back myself anyway. So… this means we usually go together on the weekend… which means we have to drag our two minions with us as well. If anyone hates grocery shopping more than me it is my kids. I think they would prefer going to the dentist than the grocery store.

But this past weekend was filled with parties and friends. It was a beautiful fun fast paced two days which allotted zero time for shopping. It also left our cupboards bare. I am talking Old Mother Hubbard bare! SO yesterday I put on a pretend Happy Face and went to the store by myself.

Now there are some benefits to grocery shopping by myself. First, no nasty behaving children going on and on about how they MUST HAVE POP TARTS or else they will just die. In fact I was even able to snicker at the poor lady shopping with her preschooler who was begging her for candy! She finally in desperation caved in. SUCKER!

Second, No annoying husband telling me to buy the expensive steaks which he promises to throw on the grill , which we all know is not going to happen in this life time. (Unless of course there is some buddy of his he has invited over to dinner and forgotten to tell me about.)

And lastly… my favorite reason, well at least yesterday: THE GORGEOUS NEW cashier! Ladies I am talking GREEK GOD! He was not handsome…. he was Pretty. You know high cheekbones, chiseled chin, long eyelashes, golden hair with blue eyes! Okay you get the picture.

Before I go any further I just want to say that I have an extremely good-looking husband. He is still very much in shape, he dresses well and HE STILL HAS ALL HIS OWN HAIR. Even after almost 16 years of being together, I am still very much attracted to my husband. I have even been known to become somewhat jealous, but also flattered, when other women notice just how handsome he is. But hell… I am human and not blind. So if a cutie just so happens to float down from heaven, and I swear this one did, well then wouldn’t it be a sin if I did not notice him?

There were two check out lines. One with the regular gal we usually check out with. She is a sweetie and always smiles and talks to my kids and pretends to not hear me when I yell at them. My kind of lady. And then there was Apollo’s  line.

Guess which when I went in?

Hell yeah… hubby wasn’t with me!

But ladies, some people are meant to be looked upon from a far.  Apollo was just as handsome up close… but then he opened his mouth.

First off he sounded like he had marbles, or perhaps a wad of tobacco stuck in there.  What I heard and what he said… VERY different things.

I heard: “Do YOU Freaking Chomping Hard!”
(Just imagine the face I made and the LOUD “WHAT” I said!)

After he repeated this three times, I finally figured out that he really meant:          “Do you have a Frequent Shoppers Card!”

Things went down hill from there. First off this guy was slow as molasses. Sweet regular girl was able to check out three customers while I was there. He also could not scan and pack at the same time it seems. This confused him. After catching him sticking my bag of tomatoes in with the laundry detergent, I told him I would finish bagging myself.

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally was able to pay. I needed cash back but was afraid to confuse pretty boy so went without it. I left the store thinking that it is a good thing this kid is cute because he definitely ain’t smart!

But he really was cute. Well that was what I thought until I got home and started unpacking my stuff. There were a few bags that he packed while I was going through my coupons that I did not see. One of them was a bag where he put MY SUGAR FREE VANILLA WAFER COOKIES in with a six-pack of bottled water! Of course Hubby’s cookies were fine. Hmmm… Karma maybe?

The Moral of my story is: Don’t be fooled by all the pretty packaging, oh and also… pack your own Dam cookies or else you will be forced to eat crumbs when you are PMSing!

And honey if you are reading this: anyone can catch your eye but it takes someone special to catch your heart


Arthur from PBS Asperger Episode!

23 May

Okay perhaps I am way behind the times and you all are already aware of this. It is quite possible, after all my kids are more into Cartoon Network then PBS these days. We were also out of the country for some time and well this did not translate into Portuguese I guess. Anyway, a friend posted this on her Face Book page and I clicked it. I was very impressed with what I saw and felt the need to post. Below is a clip of the episode. (The entire episode can be viewed online at the PBS website. The episode is called “>George Introduces Us to Carl. Share it with your kids. The more people who see this the more understood our kids will be.

WRAP UP SUNDAY

22 May

Wow… there were a lot of posts this week that got me rolling on the floor… they made me laugh too! (Sorry I could not resist.) So here are my 5  top picks for the week. Do yourself a favor and check them out… you will enjoy them.

1.) Kathleen from Autism Herd-The ramblings of an overwhelmed mother of  four very active kids..oh, and a couple of them have autism; wrote the funniest post titled: Haunted by humus and other tales of woe. Here is a sample of her blog (FYI: She is referring to her dog in this part not her child!LOL),” THE sheer amount of poop(that he so lovingly left on the floor) was awe-inspiring.  We are talking record books. If people in climbing gear had shown up at my door “because it was there” I would not have been surprised. It was THAT tremendous. I actually considered renting a back hoe. But I thought it wouldn’t be wise to operate heavy machinery before coffee.” It gets even better from there!

2.) A Mother’s Hood Over at A Mother’s Hood- A Hat for Every Occasion,  I lost my appetite but gained a new recipe! Her post: Mystery Meatloaf is very cute and the recipe at the end is yummy… I tried it, minus her special ingredient that is! (Read the post to find out what made her meatloaf so special!)

3.) Jillsmo over at Yeah.Good Times- Sometimes I say the stupid Things I Think has to be one of the funniest ladies I have ever read. This is the kind of gal you want to throw back a couple of drinks with! Her post : What Do You Want on Your Tombstone made me snort I laughed so hard! In fact it inspired me so much that I went ahead and made my own. Here is my Tombstone but it is not nearly as funny as Jillsmo! Make sure to check her out but be warned… she has a Potty Mouth!

 

 

 

 

4.) I came upon this next one by accident it is from a site called Buzz Feed but the article was more like a Buzz Kill. But it defiantly made me go back in time. It is called: 40 Things that will make you feel old! And believe m you will feel old.  For Example:

Macaulay Culkin is 30NOW! I know I Know  Can you Believe it? Feeling OLD huh?

5.) And my last pick for the week comes from Lisa over at It’s Own Sweet Will. It is called The Rapture: What to Wear; and it is about… yes what she should wear when the world comes to end.

AND THAT”S A WRAP FOLKS!